Thursday, May 28, 2009

NH Wineries


Carla Snow, CSW, of A Grape Affair
Carla Snow Returns to Ampers&
On Friday, June 19th (7–9 PM), the Lamprey Arts & Culture Alliance will host another of their popular wine tasting/educational events, with Carla Snow, CSW, of A Grape Affair, here in the gallery at Ampers&.

Snow has written a new book, Wine & Dine with New Hampshire, offering an in-depth look at New Hampshire's award-winning wines, ciders, and meads, and the pioneer companies who create them: Candia Vineyards, Farnum Hill Ciders, Flag Hill Winery and Distillery, Jewell Towne Vineyards, LaBelle Winery, Piscassic Pond Winery, and Zorvino Vineyards. Full of wonderful photography, interesting info on wineries—located right here in New Hampshire!—and a recipe section, too, it makes a terrific gift for wine enthusiasts and NH natives alike. Copies will be available at the tasting for purchase ($19.95) and signing by the author.

a spread from Snow's new book on NH Wineries
At the LACA event, Carla will present from her book and share six samples for tasting; cost is $28 per person, including samples, wine/cheese, and two hours of interesting and entertaining discussion on NH Wineries. Call 659-6823 or 969-4768 for reservations.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ampers& Web Site Review


ampers& web site
This past weekend, I ran into some friends I hadn't seen in quite some time, and they congratulated me on my recent web site award. My confused reply, "What are you talking about?"

Needless to say, I was curious, and they didn't have much more info, as they had heard it from another mutual friend of ours.... So, when I got back to the office this morning, I did a Google search, to see what I could find. (I didn't find any mention of an award, so if someone knows more about that, please share.) What I did find though, was that, apparently, back in February of this year, my website had been reviewed in a local newspaper (see the review online at, and scored a respectable 17.5 out of 20. (Who knew?!?)

Anyway, thank you John Shore, for your kind words. It's always nice to be recognized and to hear that someone notices and appreciates your design efforts. Cheers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ode to Purple Lilacs


NH: where the purple lilacs grow…
New Hampshire Natives
Who doesn't love the wonderfully fragrant bouquet of lilacs, wafting on the breezes across New Hampshire, in the month of May? Always one of my favorite flowers (so lacy and delicate, in varying shades of one of my favorite colors!), each spring I eagerly await the budding of the lilac bush outside our home, transplanted from a neighbor's yard—24 years ago—in celebration of our first home and the birth of our first son.

There's nothing quite like sitting out on the porch on a sunny day, and taking in that familiar fragrance carried on the warm spring breeze. My whole family looks forward to this small window of time (two weeks at most—and early this year!) when we can throw open the windows and let the heady fragrance in; we hack off a few glorious bunches for good measure, and bring them inside, allowing their luscious scent to seep from room to room. It's a comfort, and a reminder—of family, of home, and of childhood memories.

I'm a New Hampshire girl (born and raised and forever true). When I was young, we used to sing a happy song about NH and lilacs at summer camp, which captures the feeling perfectly:

I want to wake up, in the morning,
where the purple lilacs grow;
where the sun comes a peepin'
into where I'm a sleepin'
and the songbirds say, "hello!"

I want to wander, through the wild woods,
where the fragrant breezes blow,
and drift back, through New Hampshire,
where the purple lilacs grow.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Monday, May 11, 2009

High Flying Flags


New flutter flags signal LACA gallery events!
Even though it's situated on Main Street—in the heart of downtown Newmarket—my studio/gallery is located in the lower level of a huge mill building, below street level. Which, quite frankly, has proven to been a real challenge when trying to attract patrons to our frequent LACA events.

Recently, we purchased some royal blue "flutter flags" on 20 foot poles to post outside my shop windows. The flags are tall enough to see from the street above, stand out nicely against the red brick, and attract the eye with their motion, too. A smaller, matching "open" flag was also purchased, for posting at street level, near the Rivermoor Landing Condominium sign.

Because the tall flags will only be put out during events, people won't get overly accustomed to seeing them, day in and day out. So, hopefully, when they do notice the brightly colored flags, fluttering in the breeze, they'll know instantly that something is happening in the gallery at Ampers&.

Problem solved? We'll have to wait and see.... So far, LACA has used them for two events and gotten some good feedback. Keep your eye out for the flags on your next trip through town, and let us know when/if you notice them. Or, better still, let them compel you to stop on in and have a look around!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Arrangement(s) in Grey and Black


Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1
Did You Know…?
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 was painted by American artist James M. Whistler in 1871. However, the sensibilities of its Victorian-era viewing audience simply could not accept what was apparently a portrait being referred to as a mere "arrangement"—particularly as it was of his own mother! Thus the explanatory "Portrait of the Artist's Mother" was added and Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Artist's Mother became the new official title. It was from this revised title that the work acquired its popular (albeit incorrect) colloquial name, Whistler's Mother.

Celebrate Mom! Celebrate Spring!
There's been a flurry of activity at the gallery this week, in preparation for an upcoming special exhibition, our own "Arrangements in Grey and Black," which will feature a collection of black & white photography by Seacoast Camera Club members, alongside a selection of colorful floral shots by Russ Simon. The exhibit (in honor of Whistler's mother—and moms everywhere) will be the anchor show for the Lamprey Arts & Culture Alliance's 4th annual Mothers Day ArtWalk celebration (Sat & Sun, May 9 & 10) in downtown Newmarket.

The ArtWalk features business specials being offered by ten downtown merchants (all of whom will be displaying student artwork in their establishments); live music by the BrandyLeif Quartet at the bandstand on Saturday (12-3); free mimosas & pastries (while they last) at the gallery at Ampers&—and 10% off all merchandise (12-3 both days); and, weather permitting, easel artists set up along Main Street.

If you're in the area, swing on in to town and check it out!